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Weekend Box Office: Finding Dory Scores Huge Second Weekend, No Resurgence for Independence Day

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By Chris Kavan - 06/26/16 at 07:25 PM CT

Coming in to this weekend, there was a good chance Finding Dory was going to repeat as champion. Not only did the Pixar sequel top the box office, it dominated the competition. In fact, outside the above-average performance of Black Lively's The Shallows, most of the new films were disappointing, to say the least. It was a sad weekend for Matthew McConaughey and Roland Emmerich as Independence Day and Free State of Jones both under performed while more limited release Neon Demons couldn't even crack the top 10. Going in to the long holiday weekend, we'll see if any of these films can redeem themselves.


After an explosive opening weekend, Finding Dory continued its strong run with a fantastic $73.2 million weekend. That makes it the 8th-best second weekend of all time, topping this year's Captain America: Civil War ($72.6 million) as well as having the best second-weekend of any animated film. It was also an incredible hold, dropping just 45.8%. After just 10 days, Finding Dory has a $286.5 million total - the 13th-best animated film of all time. Worldwide, Finding Dory has made $396 million. If it continues on this course, $500 million is pretty much a sure thing - the 4th of July holiday will really tell us where it's going, but it has a great shot of that mark, with $1 billion worldwide very likely. I have a feeling this is going to stick around the top 10 for a long time, even with competition and we'll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming weeks.


After Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens proved that old franchises can return bigger than ever, of course 20th Century Fox decided to jump on that bandwagon by returning to Independence Day. It turns out nostalgia can only get you so far and riding a wave of mediocre reviews, Independence Day: Resurgence met with a similar audience response that translated to a frankly limp $41.6 million opening. That was lower than the most modest expectations (pegged at $45 million on the low end) and means the film faces an uphill battle to justify its $165 budget - not to mention the already-planned sequel. The audience was 58% male and 65% over 25 and was awarded just a "B" Cinemascore. The film opened to less than the $50 million the original film brought in during its opening weekend and will likely wind up earning less the the $104 million 6-day (Wed-Sun) total the original film opened with in its entire run. In fact, getting to $100 million may be the best-case scenario. It will have to hope for a decent foreign total to bail it out. That number stands at $102 million thus far. It will have to hope for a lot more and I expect if a sequel moves forward, it will be cut down a bit in the budgeting department following this disappointed result.


The Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson buddy comedy dropped a spot and lost about 48% of its audience, taking in $18.37 million in its second weekend for a new total of $69.3 million. The $50 million budgeted film is still on track to earn over $100 million domestically. It has taken in $83.6 million worldwide, but the bulk of its total will come from the U.S. This should continue to play well and I expect it to handily hit that milestone, if not over the 4th, a week after at the latest.


The biggest surprise of the week was Black Lively's shark thriller, The Shallows. With a modest budget of $17 million, That Shallows opened to $16.7 million, coming off a wave a good reviews. Audiences were also pleased, awarding it a "B+" Cinemascore. That audience was 54% female and 50% under 25. That kind of response should lead to a $45-to-$50 million total, a pretty amazing result for the film. This should also have a pretty good holiday weekend as well.


Also having a disappointing opening weekend was Matthew McConaughey, whose historical drama, The Free State of Jones, opened with a meager $7.7 million. With a $50 budget, this also faces an uphill battle to break even and given its subject matter, isn't likely to have much of a foreign presence. The adult-skewing film was most likely sank thanks to its dismal critic ratings and thus drove off a chunk of its hopeful audience. This will be lucky to hit $30 million with $25 million more likely. While McConaughey is a big name, that name may still not be big enough to drive a mid-range motion picture as Free State of Jones certainly backs up.

Outside the top five: X-Men: Apocalypse crossed the $150 million mark, taking in $2.47 million (8th place) for a new total of $151.1 million. That still isn't enough for it to top the original X-Men ($157.2 million), though it is looking like it will at least eventually be able to catch it, for what it's worth.

Now You See Me 2 crossed $50 million, taking in $5.65 million (7th place) for a new total of $52 million. It has made $159.7 million worldwide, a good total but far from the $351.7 the original film made.

World of Warcraft crossed $400 million worldwide. It has made less than $50 million in the U.S. but has continued to enjoy a much better foreign response. It is the only video game movie to hit that mark, ever.

Next week, July 4th brings us three new films - Disney's The BFG, the horror sequel, The Purge: Election Year and the second Tarzan film of the year The Legend of Tarzan. It's going to be even more crowded and we'll see who the big winners and losers are going to be.


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